Earthseed- A Free Verse Poem by Leona

Calming waters bring to mind

The changing seasons

Time to move

Time to harvest

Time to move

Time to rest

Replacing vowels and consonants

With singing melodies

To the future generations

As it were

Move to time

Harvest to move

Move to Time

Rest to Move

I painted with the birch tree

Sapling branches

Leaving memories and names

Of the way the world shifts

Between our feet

Time to move

Time to harvest

Time to move

Time to rest

Reaching down to cover the earth

With your body

Laying down prayers and whispers

Of ancient spells

For the tomorrow people

Will not have forgotten

our names


pra babcia – a Free Verse Poem by Leona

You ran across the ocean

Feet stepping on

Cresting waves

To arrive to another shore

They did not know you

They did not see you

You brought your hat,

Shoes, glass rosary

Praying to the Holy Mary

Clasping hands and smelling salts

They did not know you

They did not see you

Make way for the new faces

Washing sheets and sewing skirts

You found love on the stairway

Waving your hands in glee

They did not know you

They did not see you

You lived across the ocean

You never visited your homeland

Cresting waves

Falling times

I did not know you

I did not see you


This poem is inspired by my Polish great Grandmother. She immigrated to the US when she was just 20 and lived the rest of her life in this country. I love hearing about my great grandmother’s story and how she lived her life. I wish I could ask her about why she left and came to a country far away. Lots of questions, lots of wondering and trying to think about my own desire to leave my homeland and live far away.

Mirror Mirror – A Short Story by Leona #shortstory

Jamie lifted her hands from her pocket to adjust her ear plugs. She was listening to some of her favorites as she traveled on the train. The train was filled with daily computers and students. Everyone was trying to rest before their day began. Jamie noticed a girl from her class was loudly talking with her friends.  Smiling, waving and randomly touching the shoulder of the boy to her left. Jamie looked away and wished she didn’t see that. It always made her uncomfortable. 

“Next stop: Total station” The robotic voice of the train said. Jamie looked out the window and stared at the brick wall flying past. She flitted her eyes back and forth until it made her dizzy and slightly motion sick. She closed her eyes.

“Total station” the voice said. Jamie heard the train doors open. Her eyes opened. She looked out the window to watch the passengers get on and off the train. An older man held onto the morning’s newspaper and stomped on a cigarette before entering. Two school girls held hands and were imitating a pop star’s famous dance moves. They were giggling. Jamie noticed a girl slowly walking off the platform. She was wearing similar clothes to Jamie. Her school uniform and a green satchel bag swung by her waist. The girl turned and looked directly at Jamie. 

She gasped. It was her. Jamie blinked. A perfect reflection of Jamie’s face stared at her from the platform. Jamie blinked again but the girl did not disappear or move. They continued to maintain eye contact. Jamie’s mind raced. She was clearly seeing a version of herself. There she was standing on the platform. The girl raised her hand and waved. She mouthed the words “Good Luck” and started to turn away. 

Jamie jumped to her feet. She grabbed her bag and made for the train doors. The young girls were dancing in the space between the seats. The doors started to close.

“No!” Jamie shouted. She pushed through the school girls and tried to get through the doors. 

“Next stop: Everton Station ” the robotic lady said. Jamie’s hands hit the door. The doors had slid closed and latched just as Jamie bounded to them. She banged her hands and frantically searched through the small window. There on the platform she could see that version of herself walking away toward the exit stairs. Her green satchel still sung and bounced with each step. Jamie’s view started to change as the train moved away from the stop. Soon, she was staring at blackened brick walls that flew by at an unreasonable pace. It made Jamie feel sick. 

She turned. She blinked and started to sway. Jamie noticed the old man had unfolded the newspaper so that she could read the news headlines. It read “Girl discovers Irregularity in Time Warp”. Below the heading, there was a black and white picture of Jamie. Her face was bright and she was smiling sheepishly. Jamie’s knees buckled. This was the second time today in the matter of minutes she was seeing a duplicate of herself. Jamie gripped the seats for support and slid back to her seat. She lifted her hood over her head and kept her face toward the window. Whatever was happening, Jamie knew it wasn’t good.

Magnolia Blossoms – a Short Story by Leona

Maybe it was the way he always laughed. Or the open eyed smile that made my heart rush. I would blink thinking that he would disappear but there Abisani stood, tall and steady. 

Abisani arrived in March. Through the refugee office, he and his family were given a house next to my family home. His family came from Eritrea. He said they ran and ran until it led them to my small hometown in the US. Abisani arrived after my mother died. A cold dark November evening.

Maybe it was the way he waited for me to talk. Or the way his hand rested on my shoulder, never asking for me to be anything else.

I had dark days and long nights before Abisani and his family arrived. The sky seemed to change without me noticing. Day after day. My father said I should ask for help. I just didn’t care. My mother’s things still lined the bedroom and her books were still in the library. 

“Kayla, are you ready for our walk?” Abisani asked, breaking me from my thoughts. I noticed the cuff of his blue jacket was slightly upturned. 

I fixed it and said, “Yes, I want to see the blossoms.”

“You know it might be too early for them. Sometimes they don’t happen until later.” He took my hand and led me outside.

I had forgotten how wonderful the sunshine felt in the spring. My skin was cooled by the air and simultaneously warmed by the sun’s rays. I wanted to laugh, it felt so lovely. 

“You know,” I said to Abisani.  “I think there will be a blossom just from me.”

He squeezed my hand. “I hope so too.”

“My mom loved the spring flowers. She would-” my voice cracked. It was all too soon. Too fast and too slow. I wished that time would stop but then ramp up to lightning speed all at once. Then I wouldn’t have to remember. I could fast forward or pause. But the sun kept rising and setting at its pace. 

“What colors were her favorites?” Abisani asked.

“Purple.” I said, “She loved anything purple, lilacs, tulips, and irises”.

I remember the small flowers on her bed sheets. They were so small. And yet, that’s all I could remember. I stared at those flowers for hours unwilling to look my mother in the eye. I blinked.

“Oh! Here they are.” Abisani said. 

We had walked to the end of the block on our street. The trees that lined the way were still clinging to the buds unwilling to let us see their beauty. As we turned the corner, we saw the magnolia tree at the entrance to the park. Like a herald of good news, the tree stood with a few blossoms on the lower branches. Soft creamy petals with pinks and magentas. I didn’t mind that there were only a handful of flowers. They made me happy. 

“Let’s go over and see if they smell good.” I said marching toward the tree. Abisani filed next to me. He had a magical way of always matching my steps. He had a mysterious way of always knowing when to grab my hand. 

“You know my mother says petals bring good luck. I don’t think it’s true.” Abisani said. He started to reach out to one of the blossoms.

“Wait!” I said and grabbed his hand. It was slightly chilled in the April morning air. He looked at me and paused.

Maybe it was the way he always listened to me and intuitively knew what I was trying to say. Maybe it was his warm skin, deep brown eyes and slightly crooked smile.

“Close your eyes,” I said. I closed my eyes and hoped Abisani had followed me. 

“Now take a deep breath.” I said. I breathed in and tried to take in all the different smells. The cold spring air, slightly damp. The sweet smell of the magnolia blossom.  Honey almost. The sun flooded my eyes and I blinked them open.

Abisani was still standing, eyes closed taking it all in. 

Maybe it was the way Abisani understood loss. He has lost his homeland and I lost my mother. But we found each other. Maybe it was the way he didn’t let sadness consume him. He said that it washed him and washing was good for the soul. Maybe that was why we loved being close.

“Open your eyes,” I said. Abisani blinked and said nothing for we were content to watch the blossoms sway in the slight breeze.

Wasn’t Afraid – A Free Verse Poem by Leona

I think that I dreamed of another world last night

It tasted like ice cream and yellow

Lights danced in greens and blues

I looked outside to see the sky was red

But I wasn’t afraid

This other land gave me shivers

And I felt hollow

Without you

The air I breathed didn’t hurt

Or give me a sickness in my lungs

I looked to find the seagulls lived

Rather on the treetops

But I wasn’t afraid

The One of Many Songs – A free Verse Poem by Leona

My makeup made my mouth

Pucker into a poised position

It was the ritual and the rhyme

That gave way to meaning 

And song

Repeating motions and movements

Alarm rings at seven

Moisturize my melting memories

Again and again

Singing songs of early morning sanctuary

My mouth moving minutely

With avid recollection

That I have been here before

Mirror, mirror made to marvel

How does your garden grow?

Brushing my hair and realizing that

It’s time to leave

I remember the light laughs of love

That were yesterday’s song

What once was, has been

And I return to the many songs

Time turning in a ticular triangle

For I have been here before

Melpomene- a Free Verse Poem by Leona

_—- Farther than the orange glade

Becoming shores and marigolds

_—- I talked a lot about flowers

You caught my hand and kissed

_—- when you sang on the boardwalk

Lakes lapping and summer air hung

_—- Even the air clung to your eyes

I whispered in your ear “My only sunshine”

_—- Believing in stars and colliding signs

Gravity lived in our hearts, a magnetic melody

Haibun Challenge – A Haibun by Leona

Feelings of cheer and hope fill my heart. It has been busy. I keep spending time in the car with my hands on the wheel. I turn this way and that to arrive to say hello. Life has been going fast. In between moments, I am at the mall with crowds of other faces picking out chocolates. I want two mocha truffles and four caramel filled candies. In the mornings, my routine doesn’t change as I walk around with my dog and look at the sky clouds. Will it snow this year? My cheeks are cold from the air and a bit sore from smiling. The soreness isn’t bad as I hug my friend from church and wish her a “Merry Christmas”. It has been a hard year but a good year, filled with many magical memories. Finally, I set up my Charlie Brown Christmas tree and wrap the last present with brown paper and string. I wonder about the waiting and anticipating. How we prepare and prepare for this season to come. Gingerbread and ham sit on the stove in my mother’s apartment. She has set up twinkling lights on her balcony. It is a special time of year.

It wasn’t always this way

Different traditions now

Merry Christmas, love


This haibun was inspired by the Haibun Wednesday Challenge at the Go Dog Go Cafe!

Muse for Music Creators A Free Verse Poem by Leona

mix and mingle

ages are lifted

Tendril like branches

On the balcony

Where our grandmother played

Piano

fierce and calm

time is stilled

My voice remembers

The violet nights of juniper

Scents along the

River where our grandmother hummed 

Softly

beat and breathe

trying to conquer

She sang to us, her little ones

And encouraged our wings

From the folds of

The little hearts

We had

song and rhyme

leaving me breathless